As we move closer to the end of the year, it is a time to be thankful for what we have and reflect on the things our public officials say and do that provide a lighter moment.
President Donald Trump referred to departing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as “the world’s most overrated general.” Mattis responded by making fun of Trump’s bone spur diagnosis to avoid the Vietnam War.
In a discussion about the city’s need for three churches to rotate availability for the homeless this winter, Mayor Jim Ferrell said, “I’m all about redundancy.” Let’s hope that isn’t a daily problem.
President Trump said to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky “do us a favor.” That friendly request went bad in a hurry.
After several people had been murdered in two different shootings, President Trump said he was open to “closing loopholes” in background checks. That only lasted long enough to get some positive press and for the NRA to pay him a visit. Oops, no more discussion about closing loopholes.
Even though it is traditional for the president to show the public his tax returns, and there are questions from Democrats about Trump’s business relationships, Trump’s Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said, “Oh never,” when asked when they might see them. Don’t you wonder why he doesn’t want us to see them?
Last spring at the groundbreaking for the new “elegant steps” that have replaced a cement wall at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, Ferrell’s tendency for hyperbole got the better of him as he quoted President Ronald Reagan at the Berlin Wall with “tear down this wall.” It only cost $2.6 million, but it’s down.
After prodding the photographer about how to take a picture at a council meeting and enduring some good-natured teasing about his micro-managing from me, Ferrell said, “I should have been a wedding planner.” (That’s way too easy, fill in your own comment).
At a fundraiser for council candidate Tony Pagliocco, one of the well-meaning speakers said Tony will be a great council man and we need some new people on the council. Unfortunately, the speaker may not have noticed that incumbent council members Mark Koppang and Martin Moore were in the audience. They may not agree on new being better.
At the quarterly meeting between the Chamber of Commerce and Ferrell, one of the businessmen asked if the permit process, always a point of contention in development, had been streamlined or improved. Ferrell said he is “always looking for ways to improve it.” Superintendent Tammy Campbell, who has schools under construction, said school construction has been delayed about a year. Maybe another look at streamlining is needed?
“And a child shall lead them” became a reality as climate change activist, 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, bluntly told the United Nations: “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” “If you choose to fail us, we will never forgive you.”
Maybe she’s the one to explain the Paris Climate Agreement to President Trump, along with the connection between cars and climate change?
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), has changed his view on objectivity regarding presidents facing impeachment. Recently he said: “I’m trying to give a pretty clear signal I have my mind made up. I’m not going to pretend to be a fair judge here.”
When he was in Congress during the impeachment of President Clinton, he said, “Please allow the facts to do the talking … don’t decide the case before the case’s end.”
You know you are in unusual times when a major media outlet keeps track of the number of times the president tells a lie, it’s now over 15,000 times.
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas , and thanks for reading.
Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.